The Top Secret History of America’s Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Warfare Programs and Their Deployment Overseas
At its peak in 1967, the U.S. nuclear arsenal consisted of 31,255 nuclear weapons with an aggregate destructive power of 12,786 megatons – more than sufficient to wipe out all of humanity several hundred times over. Much less known is that hidden away in earth-covered bunkers spread throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan, over 40,000 tons of American chemical weapons were stored, as well as thousands of specially designed bombs that could be filled with even deadlier biological warfare agents.
The American WMD programs remain cloaked in secrecy, yet a substantial number of revealing documents have been quietly declassified since the late 1970s. Put together, they tell the story of how America secretly built up the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. The documents explain the role these weapons played in a series of world crises, how they shaped U.S. and NATO defense and foreign policy during the Cold War, and what incidents and nearly averted disasters happened. Moreover, they shed a light on the dreadful human and ecological legacy left by decades of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons manufacturing and testing in the U.S. and overseas.
This collection contains more than 2,300 formerly classified U.S. government documents, most of them classified Top Secret or higher. Covering the period from the end of World War II to the present day, it provides unique access to previously unpublished reports, memoranda, cables, intelligence briefs, classified articles, PowerPoint presentations, military manuals and directives, and other declassified documents. Following years of archival research and careful selection, they were brought together from the U.S. National Archives, ten U.S. presidential libraries, the NATO Archives in Brussels, the National Archives of the UK, the National Archives of Canada, and the National Archives of the Netherlands. In addition, a sizeable number of documents in this collection were obtained from the U.S. government and the Pentagon using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) requests.
This collection comes with several auxiliary aids, including a chronology and a historiographical essay with links to the documents themselves, providing context and allowing for easy navigation for both students and scholars.
• The papers in this collection detail how America’s stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons were developed, the staggering costs that were involved, the network of laboratories where the bombs and their components were designed and developed, new details about the dozens of secret factories spread across the U.S. where these lethal bombs and warheads were built, the sites where they were tested, and even newly released information about some of the storage depots where the weapons were deployed in the U.S. and overseas.
• This collection contains for the first time ever a comprehensive set of declassified documents which quantify the size and destructive power of the American nuclear, chemical and biological weapons stockpile throughout the Cold War era, including new details about the many different types of weapons in these arsenals, such as nuclear landmines (Atomic Demolition Munitions) and even a nuclear-capable recoilless rifle system.
• This collection contains hundreds of pages of declassified Defense Department and State Department documents concerning the secret negotiations between the U.S. government and over fifteen foreign governments concerning the deployment of nuclear and chemical weapons to their countries (complete biological weapons were never deployed overseas), as well as the even more difficult task later in the Cold War of trying to get permission to remove these weapons after they had outlived their usefulness. In some instances, the U.S. government deliberately did not inform the host nations that they had deployed nuclear and chemical weapons to their countries, as in the case of Japan, which was shocked to learn in 1969 that the U.S. was storing large numbers of nuclear and chemical weapons on the island of Okinawa without their knowledge or consent.
• Also included are over a hundred declassified documents regarding U.S. nuclear war plans, detailing how the American nuclear, chemical and biological weapons were to be used in wartime, including lists of their targets inside the USSR and the People’s Republic of China; newly declassified documents containing the details of all known nuclear, chemical and biological weapons accidents, some of which produced fatal results; and incidents involving attempts by foreign governments (Greece, Turkey and South Korea) to pressure the U.S. government by threatening to seize American nuclear weapons stored on their soil. Finally, there are recently released files concerning an attempt by a terrorist group to penetrate a U.S. nuclear weapons storage site in West Germany.
Number of documents: 2,374
Number of pages: ca. 21,212
• Introductory essay
• Glossary of acronyms
• MARC21 catalog records
• U.S. National Archives, Legislative Archives Branch, Washington, D.C.
• U.S. National Archives. Military Records Branch, College Park, Maryland
• U.S. National Archives, Civilian Records Branch, College Park, Maryland
• North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Archives, Brussels, Belgium
• National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
• National Archives of the Netherlands, The Hague, The Netherlands
• National Archives of the UK, Kew, Great Britain
• Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland
• Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri
• Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas
• John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts
• Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Austin, Texas
• Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library, Yorba Linda, California
• Gerald R. Ford Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan
• Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Atlanta, Georgia
• Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California
• George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, Houston, Texas
• William J. Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock, Arkansas
• Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C.
• DOD FOIA Reading Room, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
• U.S. Army Center for Military History, Washington, D.C.
• Naval Historical Center Operational Archives, Washington, D.C.
• U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
• Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and Technical Information, Washington, D.C.
• Douglas MacArthur Library, Norfolk, Virginia (Douglas MacArthur Papers)
• George C. Marshall Library, Lexington, Virginia (George C. Marshall Papers)
• Mudd Library, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (George W. Ball Papers)
• National Security Archive, Washington, D.C. (Chuck Hansen Collection)
• Maryland Historical Trust, Annapolis, Maryland
• Dates: (inclusive): 1946-1985 • Languages used: Chinese • EAD finding aids are available Produced mostly by the Central Newsreel and Documentary Film Studio of China, documentary films and newsreels were two of the major mass media and communication channels in China from the 1950’s through the 1970’s. They covered all aspects of social activities, though the emphasis was on developments and achievements in the building of a socialist country. In order to reach even broader public audiences, government agents produced and printed the transcripts and shot lists for the films and sent them to cities and rural areas. The bulk of the items in the collection are transcripts for the documentary films and newsreels from the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976. Few of these printed materials have survived due to the poor quality of the paper upon which they were printed. All documents in the collection are in Chinese.
Location of originals: Duke University Library, Durham
• Number of titles: 269 • Languages used: Korean, Japanese, English • Title list available • MARC records are available •
Location of originals: C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University, New York Here is a unique collection of rare documents relating to the Japanese occupation of Korea, from the late nineteenth century up to 1945, representing a highly significant period in Korean history, and vital for a true understanding of many reflexes in the Koreas today. In 1876, Japan “opened” Korea to outside contact for the first time. What followed was a period of sparring with the Chinese over the right of influence in Korea, a rivalry which culminated in the Sino- Japanese war of 1894-95. Following victory, Japan steadily increased its presence and interference in Korean matters until the outright annexation of the country in 1910. Korea would remain a Japanese colony until the end of the Pacific War in 1945. Drawn from the holdings of the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University, New York, the collection includes more than 62,000 pages in Japanese language, 18,000 pages of Western (in most cases English) early impressions of Korea, and Korean texts (16,000 pages). This true treasure-trove, preserved through our online service, now presents the texts conveniently on your desktop.
An Annotated Bibliography of U.S. Foreign Relations since 1600
The SHAFR Guide Online: An Annotated Bibliography of U.S. Foreign Relations since 1600 is a near-comprehensive, 2.1 million-word online annotated bibliography of historical work covering the entire span of U.S. foreign relations. It aims to jump-start the research of both students from high school to graduate school as well as the most advanced scholars.
The SHAFR Guide Online, created by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) and helmed by General Editor Alan McPherson, should be the first place to which researchers turn when establishing a bibliography, whether it be about US-Latin American relations in the 19th century, World War II, or US-China/East Asia relations since the Vietnam War.
The SHAFR Guide Online’s thirty chapters cover all eras in U.S. history from colonial days through the Barack Obama presidency as well as all geographical areas of the world. A specialist of the topic has expertly organized and annotated each chapter’s entries. The latest edition also includes four new thematic chapters—on economic issues; non-governmental actors; domestic issues, the Congress, and public opinion; and race, gender, and culture. Entries include every type of historical source, from collections of government documents to biographies, monographs, book chapters, journal articles, web sites, and much more.
The SHAFR Guide itself has a long, illustrious history. Since 1983, SHAFR has published several previous editions, under different names, edited by Richard Dean Burns, Robert Beisner, and Thomas Zeiler. Henceforth,
The SHAFR Guide will be primarily an online tool. The addition of keywords for each entry is meant to make searches as effortless as possible. It is destined to become the preeminent bibliography in the field and an indispensable research tool for historians of U.S. foreign relations—amateurs and professionals alike.
Translations of the Peking Gazette Online is a comprehensive database of approximately 8,500 pages of English-language renderings of official edicts and memorials from the Qing dynasty that cover China’s long nineteenth century from the Macartney Mission in 1793 to the abdication of the last emperor in 1912. As the mouthpiece of the government, the
Peking Gazette is the authoritative source for information about the Manchu state and its Han subjects as they collectively grappled with imperial decline, re-engaged with the wider world, and began mapping the path to China’s contemporary rise.
Peking Gazette was a unique publication that allows contemporary readers to explore the contours, boundaries, and geographies of modern Chinese history. Contained within its pages are the voices of Manchu emperors, Han officials, gentry leaders, and peasant spokesmen as they discussed and debated the most important political, social, and cultural movements, trends, and events of their day. As such, the
Gazette helps us understand the policies and attitudes of the emperors, the ideas and perspectives of the officials, and the mentality and worldviews of several hundred million Han, Mongol, Manchu, Muslim, and Tibetan subjects of the Great Qing Empire.
The dozens of British scholars, missionaries, and consular officials who created this treasure trove of translated Qing documents did so for variety of different reasons. Robert Morrison (1782-1834), the first Protestant missionary to China, honed his classical Chinese by translating the
Gazette in preparation for his rendering of the Bible; Sir John Francis Davis (1795-1890), the future governor of Hong Kong, translated the
Gazette for the East India Company in Canton during the height of the opium trade; the missionaries Walter Henry Medhurst and William C. Milne, by contrast, sought to understand the Christian-inspired Taiping Civil War (1851-64) by studying and translating the
Gazette; the majority of the translators, however, served on the staff of the British consulate in Beijing and followed the lead of Sir Thomas Francis Wade (1818-1895), who decoded the
Gazette as a form of intelligence gathering for the British government and published them for the global reading public. However, nineteenth century British scholars, missionaries, and officials did not translate the entirety of the gazette into English.
Culled from a variety of publications, including the
Indo-Chinese Gleaner, the
Canton Register, the
Chinese Repository, and the
North China Herald, this full-text searchable database is the largest, most comprehensive collection of English translations of the
Peking Gazette in the world. It contains vital information on a wide range of topics, including the Opium War and other military conflicts between China and the West, the Taiping Rebellion and other peasant insurrections, the Self-Strengthening Movement and other Qing reform efforts, and thousands upon thousands of official documents that contain information about the mundane details of everyday life in nineteenth-century China and thrilling accounts of unprecedented events in late imperial times. There is no better source for readers who want to understand the interplay of complex political themes, social movements, and cultural ideas in late imperial China.
This database has been compiled by Dr. Lane J. Harris, Furman University. Dr. Harris would like to thank the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland for permission to reproduce the translations by John Francis Davis; the British Library for permission to include portions of their copy of
The Cycle: A Political and Literary Review; and the Center for Research Libraries for their assistance in acquiring microfilm versions of the
North China Herald, the
Canton Register, and the
As a special feature of this database, it is accompanied by a primary sourcebook, available through separate purchase, entitled
The Peking Gazette: A Reader in Nineteenth-Century Chinese History by Dr. Harris. The reader contains scholarly introductions to thematic chapters organized around the most important events and themes in modern Chinese history for use in undergraduate and graduate classes.
The purpose of this unique online collection is to provide students and researchers with the declassified documentary record about the successes and failures of the U.S. intelligence community in the Far East during the Cold War (1945-1991). Particular emphasis is given to America’s principal antagonists in Asia during the Cold War era: the People’s Republic of China, North Korea and North Vietnam. However, countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia are covered as well.
Number of documents: 4,285
Number of pages: ca. 23,500
- Introductory essay
- Glossary of acronyms
- MARC21 catalog records
- National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland
- CIA-CREST database
- Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas
- John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts
- Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Austin, Texas
- Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library, Yorba Linda, California
- Gerald R. Ford Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Atlanta, Georgia
- Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California
- Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C.
- U.S. Army Center for Military History, Washington, D.C.
- U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
- Naval Historical Center Operational Archives, Washington, D.C.
- Douglas MacArthur Library, Norfolk, Virginia
- National Archives of the United Kingdom, Kew, UK
- National Archives of Australia, Canberra, Australia
- Vietnam Archive, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
- Archives of the National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
- Archives of the Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania